3rd book of 2019: Salt, Sugar & Fat by Michael Moss
For us, a snack, biscuit, or a chocolate doesn't mean more than, well...a snack, biscuit or a chocolate. Before we know it, we're loving these food items a lot and are having them quite often. This goes on until some of us develop health problems like obesity. In some cases, even cancer.
Now this shouldn't be a big problem. But it has become huge because not one, but billions of people have developed similar cravings for packaged food, and millions of them have got diseased. Recently, the industry watchdogs started asking a question:
Are multi billion dollar food companies getting people addicted to these unhealthy products? If yes, how do we stop this?
This book follows an investigation on the three ingredients, and how their mix makes people crave packaged food products. And how the trillion dollar packaged food industry tries its best to perfect the game. As you might have guessed, these ingredients are - Salt, Sugar and Fat.
This book is a very interesting dissection of human taste, preferences, cravings, economics of major food companies and how they're forced to sell unhealthy addictions to survive, role of government in preventing exploitation of innocent consumers at scale, and other fun stuff.
One chapter is quite aptly titled as "I feel so sorry for the public." These kind of problems happen to companies only when they're simply too good at their job. I just wanted to learn about the palatability aspect of food. Quite a tough read.